Newcastle United have reportedly held talks with Leeds United over possibly signing in-demand winger Raphinha from Elland Road this summer.

According to the Northern Echo, Newcastle United have made contact with Leeds United over the availability of Raphinha. The Magpies are currently keeping track of the developments around the Brazilian international before launching an official bid, although they are unwilling to match Leeds’s current asking price of around £60 million.

The 25-year-old joined Leeds in the summer of 2020 for £20 million after the Whites won promotion to the Premier League under Marcelo Bielsa. And it is safe to say that the Brazilian international has taken to the rigours of English football like a duck to water, excelling with a string of stellar displays over the last two years.

The Brazilian winger’s blend of electric pace, dazzling dribbles, and technical astuteness has made him one of the Premier League’s most exciting talents. Raphinha enjoyed an impressive 2021/22 campaign with the Whites and was clearly their best player, helping them secure their top-flight status with eleven goals and three assists in 35 Premier League appearances.

However, despite still having two years left on his deal at Elland Road, he is expected to leave Leeds this summer. A regular fixture in the Brazilian national team, Raphinha has caught the attention of Spanish giants Barcelona, and it is reported that Camp Nou is the destination of the player’s choice.

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But the Blaugrana’s financial disarray and inability to put forward a competent offer on the table has blown the race wide open. A whole host of Premier League clubs, including Chelsea, Tottenham, and Arsenal, have since moved ahead to express their interest in securing Raphinha’s services.

In recent weeks, Arsenal seem to have stolen the march in the Raphinha sweepstakes, with others trailing. Now, cash-rich Newcastle United have become the latest club to join the chase for the Leeds United winger.

The Magpies are in the market for a wide forward, with Bayer Leverkusen ace Moussa Diaby viewed as their top target. However, with the German outfit preparing to compete in the UEFA Champions League next season, signing the Frenchman will be tricky. Thus, Newcastle have identified Raphinha as an alternative if they fail in their bid to land Diaby.

While the idea of Raphinha playing on the opposite flank to Allan Saint-Maximin is extremely appealing to the St. James’ Park faithful, it goes without saying that the Brazilian international would cost an arm and a leg, with Leeds keen for their £60 million valuation to be met and under no pressure, having already dispatched Kalvin Phillips for a big fee.

The Toon Army may have the financial backing to go toe-to-toe with Arsenal and Spurs following their takeover, but they are restricted due to FFP rulings. So, while Newcastle are keeping a close watch on Raphinha’s situation at Elland Road, as it stands, they will not go over the top to match Leeds’s steep valuation.

It remains to be seen if Raphinha is made available for a lower transfer fee later in the summer window, with the Magpies only willing to splash around £40 million for the highly-rated winger.

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